by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on May 6, 2016
Some months back I had this great idea for a fuel economy test. Would our 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 really do all that much better than a 5.0-liter V8 when tested in the real world away from the controlled confines of the EPA test dyno? At the time, our 20 mpg-rated 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x4 had averaged just 16.4 mpg with some 18,000 miles under its belt, a figure that trailed the 17-mpg combined rating of a 2015 Ford F-150 4x4 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine.
EPA ratings notwithstanding, this question was not without merit. We were not the first to complain about EcoBoost fuel economy, and our man Jay suspected this boiled down to a fuel enrichment strategy that's necessary to keep the turbos and exhaust system cool, a move that'd use extra fuel. Ford's 5.0-liter V8 wouldn't need to employ such tactics because, well, it has no turbochargers.
So I obtained a Lariat 5.0-liter crew cab 4x4 that was very similarly equipped to ours. Mark Takahashi and I drove them both on three different test loops totaling 692 miles. To eliminate variables we followed one another at a respectful distance, swapped between the trucks, took turns in the lead and used the same gas station fuel pump at the beginning and end of each loop.
It was perfect.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on April 14, 2016
Last month, Dan Edmunds' thorough mpg analysis of our 2015 Ford F-150 only further confounded our efforts to pin down a reason for its poor fuel economy. Four extra quarts of oil in the sump? Boy Blue here, didn't even flinch. We're also convinced at this point that our experience is far from being an outlier. In fact, Wards Auto left the 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 off its engine award list last year because it experienced similar real-world test results.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on April 1, 2016
It's easy to feel over-confident when you're driving a full-size truck like our 2015 Ford F-150. A big truck can lull you into a false sense of security, potentially leading you into tricky or embarrassing situations. But in this case, a late-afternoon drive back to the southern California coastal region from the Palm Springs desert area, the F-150 earned its stripes as an unflappable highway shuttle.
The winds picked up around 3:00 p.m. and when we left mom and dad's house for the two-hour drive back home, winds were blowing a steady 20 mph, punctuated with 35 mph gusts across the desert floor.
Mom was worried, fretted that we should've left sooner. Wondered if we shouldn't stay a few extra hours until the winds tapered off as the forecast predicted. "Relax, Mom," I said. "I've got a truck. A big one."
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on March 7, 2016
Like a late season batting average, it takes a lot to make a long-term test vehicle's average fuel economy budge when it's in its final months with us. But there was reason to think our 2015 Ford F-150 might be different, and that reason was this: 10,498 miles with ten quarts of oil in the pan instead of the specified six quarts.
Conventional wisdom suggested our truck's legendary poor fuel economy simply had to be the result of the crankshaft churning and stirring all of that extra oil. "It all makes sense now. Chalk it up to windage losses," they said.
Nearly 10,000 miles have passed since I changed the oil and restored things to normal. I can now parse the data into approximate thirds: The first 11,700 miles with the correct six quarts of oil, the next 10,498 miles with 10 quarts of oil, and the most recent 9,500 miles with the required six quarts of oil.
I'm sorry to burst your balloon, but that middle third, the one with all of that extra oil, did not represent a period of depressed fuel economy. And MPG did not rebound after I corrected the problem.
by Rich Kuras, Video Producer on February 5, 2016
After moving my girlfriend to the Rose City the weekend prior, I was slated to return our 2015 Ford F-150 back to headquarters by Friday. I started my return leg around 7:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning and about an hour into my journey met with some early morning fog.
That subsided a little after 11:00 a.m. and it was smooth sailing through the rest of the state. Little did I know, Mother Nature would make a return appearance a bit later in the trip.
After seven hours of uneventful driving, the skies started looking ominous near the cattle feedlots around Coalinga, California. The stench from the cattle is pretty bad and you can smell it for miles even before reaching it. I was wishing rain would wash the smell away. As the rain and lightning started, it was a reminder to be careful what you wished for.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on December 14, 2015
We drove our 2015 Ford F-150 more than 2,300 miles in November, hauling engines and appreciating its easygoing nature on the highway. Average lifetime fuel economy continues to climb, ticking up another .1 mpg this month to 17.0 mpg.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on November 4, 2015
by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on October 30, 2015
I was chatting with Engineering Editor Jason Kavanagh during dinner the night before our annual Edmunds Driving School, and he asked me what vehicle I was driving from our long-term fleet.
"Oh, I've got the 2015 Ford F-150," I said.
JayKav said he had the 2015 BMW M235i Convertible, but he commended me on my choice.
"That thing is great for just cruising up the highway, isn't it?"
I agreed, but I also didn't admit my real reason for choosing the new Ford F-150. It wasn't because of its cushy, easy-going nature. Rather it was that I planned to do lots of cycling over the weekend and wanted to make use of its bed.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on October 9, 2015
Compared to the 4,307-mile extravaganza of August, September's mere total of 1,891 miles seems like slacking off. But that's a good haul nonetheless, a monthly average that would comfortably push any long-term test vehicle over our 20,000-mile annual target.
Our 2015 Ford F-150 was so far ahead on miles at the end of August that this somewhat average month was more than sufficient to push it past its annual goal just eight months after it entered service. We closed the book on September with the truck's odometer showing 21,156 miles.
The F-150 4x4 has proven itself to be a very popular truck around these parts. But it's also proven quite thirsty compared to its official EPA rating.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 16, 2015
My massive Pacific Northwest road trip added 2,808 of the 4,307 miles added to our 2015 Ford F-150 this month. August disappears in the Ford's rear-view mirror with its odometer reading 19,265 miles. It's just a week or two from meeting its 20,000-mile annual mileage target with four more months left in our test.
Records fell this month. The existing best range (557.3 miles) was eclipsed by three of the five tanks that made up my road trip, the best of them being 706.6 miles. That bladder-busting number isn't a breathtaking as it seems, however. Our truck is fitted with the optional 36-gallon tank.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 4, 2015
Finally. I thought it'd never happen. Our 2015 Ford F-150 managed to complete the last 337-mile leg of our trip from Modesto, California to Santa Ana at 23.1 mpg, the first and only time our 2.7-liter EcoBoost-powered 4x4 has matched its EPA highway rating in nearly 18,000 miles of ownership.
But there is huge asterisk. A tailwind persisted for at least two-thirds of the distance — a strong one that had the flags standing straight out. On top of that, I was really trying, never exceeding 65 mph even when the limit went up to 70 mph. I was well aware that this particular leg has historically been the most mpg-favorable of our entire Oregon-and-back route. I was determined to make the best of it.
"Are you on a fuel economy run?" asked my wife at one point in an accusatory tone. It was obvious she wanted to get home as soon as possible.
"No, no," I said. "The speed limit is 65 mph here." This was technically no fib because we weren't in a 70-mph zone at the time.
"Uh-huh," she said, rolling her eyes.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 2, 2015
We rejoin our story after I wheeled our 2015 Ford F-150 back onto the interstate after the third refueling stop of my Pacific Northwest journey through Oregon and Washington. My hand clutched a McDonalds cheeseburger and a lukewarm cup of black coffee.
Mickey D's had been the only place open, but I didn't much care. And if I'm not mistaken, they've really cleaned up their act in the 10 years since my last non-breakfast visit. Or maybe my growling stomach made it impossible to be discerning.
No matter. The calories and caffeine were all I really wanted. I was about to turn off the freeway and head east toward the coast where I'd then bend left and begin following Oregon 101 south. It was going to be a dark night on deserted two-lane roads through occasional one-stoplight towns that were fast asleep.
It was that weird time of night that made you wonder if the car headlights trailing a half-mile behind belonged to a patrolman or just some local running a bit faster. I didn't push my luck, even though my brain told me the law was probably sawing logs at home.
2015 Ford F-150: Oregon Road Trip Leg 3 — From Star Wars to Animal House and a 20-MPG Tank In Between
August 26, 2015
At the conclusion of our last episode, our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup was being refueled with more premium gasoline in the tiny burg of Naselle, Washington. From there I headed east along the north bank of the mighty Columbia River and rejoined Interstate 5 near Longview.
I can say now that I was on my way to the Tacoma area to drive the 2016 Toyota Tacoma. That was the point of this entire massive side trip.
Days earlier, when I studied my route, a town with an intriguing name caught my attention. I resolved to take a three- or four-mile side-trip within my side-trip to see tiny Vader, Washington, population 621. Did they have a sense of humor about their name?
They don't, apparently.
I saw nothing like a Death Star café, no roads named Sith Street, Droid Drive or Anakin Alley. It's basically a railroad siding and a handful of houses. They seem to like trains. I saw a juggler.
That's not very dark. They need to get their Sith together.
August 18, 2015
This particular Oregon road trip covered a lot of miles because I had to make a business-trip detour north to Tacoma in our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup. So I'm breaking the trip into tanks of gas to make things easier.
We arrived at my parents place near the long-deserted (but still on the map) town of Carpenterville, Oregon about 90 minutes after I refilled the tank in Klamath, California. Their place is six miles up Carpenterville road at an elevation of 1,600 feet. It's a slow winding road with a crazy driveway at the end, and every time we made the trek into town we dropped to sea level on the way out and climbed back up on the way home.
One of those trips into town included a side trip to a World War II bombsite memorial in a remote corner of the Siskiyou National Forest. No one was injured, but this site is interesting because it's the only place on the American mainland that was bombed by Japan.
August 12, 2015
My family is making our annual summer pilgrimage to the Oregon coast to visit my parents, and this time we're taking the long-term 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup. As ever, there are four of us. But my daughters are now adult-sized, so the cab is full-up with people, snacks and pillows. Our luggage must ride in the bed.
But it rains on the Oregon coast (in theory, at least) and we really don't want to move our suitcases in and out of the cab every time we go inside a restaurant or visit a roadside attraction. This is a job for a lockable tonneau cover, but our truck doesn't have one.
And then I remembered our crossover-sized roof pod, a leftover from our departed 2012 Honda CR-V long-term test car. It can easily swallow four suitcases, and it's short enough to neatly drop inside our crew cab's 5.5-foot bed.
August 11, 2015
This is getting exasperating. Our 2015 Ford F-150 is on the doorstep of 15,000 miles and its 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine is showing zero signs of Eco. Sure, our truck's lifetime average ticked up from 15.9 to 16.2 mpg this month, but its EPA combined rating is 20 mpg.
The picture doesn't get much better when I ignore the miles it has spent towing. Its lifetime average rises to 16.6 mpg, but EPA combined still seems impossibly far off.
July 28, 2015
In the first part of this road trip, my friend and I drove the 2015 Ford F-150 470 miles north for a wedding and some mountain biking. We went mountain biking the first day we were in Lake Tahoe, and now the wedding day dawned. But first, a pre-wedding morning hike.
We headed to Van Sickle Bi-State Park, and did an out-and-back on the Tahoe Rim trail. It was a beautiful day, but the trail was strangely near-empty of people. We weren't complaining. Maybe folks were hung over from the Fourth of July. Or maybe people don't go to Lake Tahoe for hiking. Unlike pretty much any park in southern California, this marked the second time in two days we didn't have to pay a parking fee. Score!
July 16, 2015
Since our 2015 Ford F-150 was used in the Great Yugoslav Expedition of 2015, the majority of the 3,200 miles we added in June came from driving round-trip from Los Angeles to Boise. And whaddya know? That number of miles driven on rural highways at a steady speed increased its lifetime fuel economy. Was it enough to get the F-150 up to its EPA estimated 20 mpg combined?
July 1, 2015
He's always asking me tough questions.
Here's the problem: I love 'em both. The trucks, I mean. My neighbor is only okay.
Choosing a favorite is difficult, especially since the drivetrains are so different. The Ram is all about easy pulling power and impressive fuel economy. The F-150 with the EcoBoost V6? It's a hot-rod.
Sure, it can tow and haul and stuff. But deep down, in places where Prius drivers and the EPA don't ever go, this thing is a hot-rod.
June 23, 2015
Let me clarify: The Auto Start/Stop system in our 2015 Ford F-150 is the best one I've ever used.
It's entirely possible someone makes a better one, but it sure couldn't be by much. The one in the F-150 EcoBoost 2.7 is so good, it's actually the first such system that doesn't make me constantly want to switch the whole damn thing off.
Most of these Auto Start/Stop systems are disruptive to the point they end up being annoying. The whole waiting for the engine to fire back up as you're trying to take off from a light, or the constant shutting down/starting up in stop-and-go traffic gets old.
Maybe we're just impatient.
June 14, 2015
Mono Lake is a little-known landmark to those who live outside of California. Perhaps you've heard of its neighbor: Yosemite National Park. I recently drove our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup up there with a group of friends for some hiking and abandoned-mine exploring.
Our weekend base of operations was the tiny town of Lee Vining, California, elevation 6,731 feet. The route north from our Orange County starting point is pretty much a straight shot up U.S. Route 395, a long desert highway if ever there was one.
If this sounds the least bit familiar, this was the end-of-May road trip that was alluded to in our recent May fuel economy update.
June 10, 2015
There's been some grumbling about our 2015 Ford F-150 not meeting its EPA fuel economy estimates. Less apparent are this powertrain's benefits, namely abundant power and good response. When put in proper perspective, its fuel economy is downright impressive, too.
June 5, 2015
Our 2015 Ford F-150 nudged past 9,000 total miles this month. We tend to see a vehicle's observed fuel economy begin to level off once it acquires this many miles. It's not locked-in by any means, but like a late-season batting average, it's hard to make big changes as the odometer accumulates mileage.
That's not good news for our 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x4. To this point its lifetime average is just 15.7 mpg.
The EPA combined rating for this rig is 20 mpg, more than 4 mpg higher than what we're achieving. Our truck is even falling short of its EPA city rating of 18 mpg.
May 14, 2015
In part one of our towing comparison between the 2015 Ford F-150 and 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, we talked towing stability. Here in part two, we compare power and fuel consumption. Which engine makes the most sense for pulling a roughly three-ton load: the Ram's 3.0-liter diesel V6 or the Ford's 2.7-liter gasoline V6? Dive in.
May 7, 2015
April was a relatively slow month for our 2015 Ford F-150. It spent most of its time locally and accumulated only a modest 530 miles. Accordingly, our best and worst fills remain the same as they did in March at 14.0 and 17.3, respectively. Best range also remains unchanged at 557.3 miles. After almost 7,000 miles, we're still falling short of the EPA combined estimate.
April 9, 2015
I thought I was going to be the first person in the office to tow something with our long-term 2015 Ford F-150, but Jay Kavanagh beat me to the punch. Our trips were two weeks apart but nearly identical, as Jay and I both took the F-150 from Los Angeles to Sonoma, California. Our cargo was similar too, although mine was more than 1000 pounds heavier than Jay's haul. Even with the extra weight, the big blue Ford pulled like a champ.
April 3, 2015
March was a busy month for our long-term 2015 Ford F-150. We racked up 2,700 miles over the last four weeks, 2,000 of which were spent towing various trailers. Engineering Editor Jay Kavanagh towed something that vaguely resembles a Miata to and from Sonoma Raceway. I took a similar 2,000-mile trip to purchase a car and lug it home (more on that soon).
March 5, 2015
The average fuel economy of our 2015 Ford F-150 is improving, but still not enough for us to be impressed.
In February, the aluminum-bodied pickup, which is powered by a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, averaged 16.3 mpg over about 1,700 miles of mixed driving. And our best single tank average is now up to 17.3 mpg.
February 5, 2015
New year. New truck.
It was at the body shop for seven days.
When it wasn't we managed to drive the aluminum-bodied pickup, which is powered by a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, about 1,000 miles before the calendar clicked over to February.